Portsmouth barber's charity toy collection aims to spread festive cheer among vulnerable children

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An Old Portsmouth barbers is organising a charity toy collection to ensure local vulnerable children do not go without this Christmas.

Robert Jennings of The Barbers in Pembroke Road is running the collection for the second year in a row in support of the Hampshire based charity, Spotlight UK. The collection is running until Friday, December 8 with Robert hoping for a last minute push to help local vulnerable children.

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They have collected around 30 toys so far and they have been blown away by people’s generosity. Robert said: "The response has been fantastic, we have got some amazing presents.” The barber decided to set up the collection as he believes the true meaning of Christmas has become lost.

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The Barbers in Portsmouth is looking for gift donations on behalf of Spotlight UKThe Barbers in Portsmouth is looking for gift donations on behalf of Spotlight UK
The Barbers in Portsmouth is looking for gift donations on behalf of Spotlight UK

Robert said: "I’m not really a Christmassy person myself. I’m very religious but I have got fed up with hearing people going on about Christmas and I think everyone has lost their Christmas spirit. Just doing this, if it brings something in that I know is going to go to a vulnerable child, it makes me feel Christmassy as well. It’s a bit more like the true meaning of Christmas, rather than worrying about what you get, it’s nice to give, especially as you know these children are going to get something as some of them get next to nothing.”

Spotlight UK is a charity that, among other things, helps people in financial hardship access food and equipment that they would otherwise be unable to. One of the ways they do this is through the Christmas Toy Appeal which The Barbers has taken part in over the last two years.

The toys need to be new and unwrapped to allow the charity to match the present to an appropriate child. If you would like to contribute to the toy collection, any gifts can be dropped to The Barbers between now and December 8. Any toys will be gratefully accepted, however they are currently low on toys for babies.

Robert added: "Anything that helps put a smile on a kids face is important I think, that what Christmas is about I think.”